daniel straily

Daniel Straily’s amazing numbers in minors get him called up to A’s

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UPDATE: Straily will make his debut Friday against the Blue Jays in place of Travis Blackley, who’ll move to the bullpen.

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It’s not quite the Rangers calling up stud third base prospect Mike Olt, but according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle the A’s are promoting a top prospect of their own in right-hander Daniel Straily.

Straily was a 24th-round pick in 2009 and wasn’t considered an elite prospect coming into the season, but his minor-league numbers were very strong from 2009-2011 and this year they’re spectacular.

He’s started 22 games between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 2.60 ERA and 175/37 K/BB ratio in 138 innings while holding opponents to a .197 batting average. That includes a ridiculous 1.36 ERA, 67 strikeouts, and .149 opponents’ batting average in 53 innings since a promotion to Triple-A.

And he’s hardly a soft-tosser, with a fastball that reaches 92-94 miles per hour, plus a slider and changeup that both draw very positive reviews. Straily has been about as good as a pitcher can possibly be in the minors this season, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can go from prospect-list afterthought to making a big impact in the majors six months later.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.